Friday 20th January, Locomotiv (Bologna). After having wondered around for twenty minutes, I found the venue where Band of Skulls would have been playing with Lava Lava Love. The gig itself was fun, going from Florencia’s ‘Material Girl’ cover and Lava Lava‘s electric pop to Band of Skull‘s noise rock. The band from Verona is now promoting the new album ‘A Bunch of Love Songs and Zombies’, whose review you can find HERE. The surprise is that the day after tomorrow you are going to read also the Italian version, so that also Italian readers can see the original one. I do not want to reveal any spoilers, so let’s just on this chat with this friendly and adorable quartet.
Your name, Lava Lava Love, is inspired by the title of a chapter of ‘Toxic’ by H. Helgason. Where did the inspiration for this idea come from?
FLORENCIA: I’m glad that somebody is prepared and knows where it comes from. It was just a coincidence, I was invited to the studio just to sing a song (‘Winona’). Massimo and Vittorio were in the studio with Matteo Cantaluppi recording the first EP (‘The First Extended Play’). Massimo Matteo’s wife was reading ‘Toxic’, thus they were discussing it and it was destiny that they were reading the same chapter, Lava Love. A group with that name already existed, so we created Lava Lava Love, which is even catchier!
How would you introduce your music to somebody who has never heard of you?
FL: Well, we simply make some pop mixed with rock, which you can feel especially during live performances. In the album there are also some folk influences. It’s pop anyway.
VITTORIO: Yep, violent-pop.
FL: Violet pop, I like it.
On the 17th January you promoted the new remix EP at Rocket, in Milan. What are the origins of this EP?
FL: Let’s say that we like experimenting, and we trust people – like for example when I was asked to join as vocalist for Lava Lava Love. We also called Guido Bianchini from House of All, we like involving other people; we asked friends and acquaintances. We had great feedback, 4-5 tracks ready, so we decided to extend this work. It was quite successful, we sold all the limited copies we printed for Rocket. We definitely hope to repeat this experience.
You alternated traditional, acoustic and electronic sets. Which one of these do you prefer?
FL: If you ask Massimo definitely the traditional electric one, cause the acoustic one bores him.
MASSIMO: Also the audience is bored (laughs).
FL: That is not true! I like it because you can hear both my and Vittorio’s voices better, the drums don’t drown them out. Like that time, in Selvazzano d’Enza, Padua, when we played in a deconsecrated church; sometimes it seemed to be in the church’s choir. However, we were born as an electric quartet, like for example when we played the stage of Locomotiv.
During a live performance, how important is the interaction with the audience and the chemistry among the band members?
FL: I think we have lots of flaws, but ignoring the audience is not one of them. We think the opinion of the audience and the feedback is important, also being active in the different social shows we care about their opinion. As I said before, the remix is a result of the positive feedback of the ones who listen to us.
I know you also play covers in your live performances, like for example Neutral Milk Hotel. Where does this choice come from?
MAX: I chose it because I liked the song. We were in the studios in Milan and we said ‘Shall we do this song?’ ‘Okay, but we do it 4/4’, and then I went away.
FL: Now I’m going to say something really unpopular, but quite objective because I was not playing in the group yet: I prefer the cover version. I will be lynched, but I do not dislike this version.
MAX: We arranged it with the keyboards…
FL: Yes, and I am quite cheesy, so maybe that is why I like it.
MAX: I simply found the support of Vittorio and Matteo and then we recorded it. Also, we did not know Andrea already…
ANDREA: I was a fan of Lava Lava Love, a bit like John Frusciante from Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and they told me ‘come and play with Lava Lava Love’, and I replied ‘You are my favourite band ever!’
MAX and FLO: Oh yes, it definitely went that way.
Is there a creative process for Lava Lava Love’s writing?
FL: (To Vito) He composes them in his bedroom like the most famous artists.
VITO: I write the lyrics with Florencia. In studio, for the first album, everything has been done in one week, without pre-production, seven days…like the universe – created in seven days. The production will start before, even if we’ll spend just one week in studio. We decided to record albums in seven days.
FL: Even if improvisation is good, afterwards you start thinking about the thinks you could have done another way.
VITO: Yes, it’s a really strong album, with distorted guitars, whilst the EP is more ‘experimental’, in inverted commas, there are some Eiffel 65 tunes. The next one is going to be a mix of the two.
Florencia, how was your first experience in studio?
FL: I always have been a singer, if in a more amateur way. I am also a public speaker, so I already knew the technical bits. However, the first day I felt like I needed to cry any second – but the other band members always supported me. I may have done something better, but I am never satisfied with what I do, so I hope that I’ll be more relaxed in the next album.
Your last video, ‘Your Lite’, is quite simple, all recorded in the car. Where did the idea for that come from?
MAX: it was an idea of the directors, they proposed us the lyrical video.
FL: Then, as always, we created some issues because we decided to change the single, therefore the whole video! I think that videos are important, especially now that channels like MTV are more focused on TV shows, so Youtube is a great help. I’d like to thank MTV by the way, because it gave us a space on MTV Generation, a web channel – which is the most suitable platform for us.
How is the future looking for Lava Lava Love?
VITO: The new album will be in pre-production in March, we’ll be in the studios in June. So it will be released by autumn/winter 2012, whilst we are finishing our first tour…
FL:…that is ending in April, then we’ll see whether to add any festival or summer date…
VITO:…well, also an experience abroad would not be so bad either.